Skip to Content

Santa Cruz County Supervisors looking into a low impact camping ordinance

COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV): On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County supervisors will be discussing to bring a low-impact camping ordinance to rural and unincorporated areas of the county.

Santa Cruz County is a hot spot for camping.

"So this is really an attempt to regulate them, and obviously would also allow the county to collect tot our transit occupancy tax," said Jason Hoppin, Public Information Officer for the County of Santa Cruz. "There's a very few number of properties that would be allowed to do this, they can't be, in flood zones, they can't be in severely high fire areas."

The county said the goal is to provide people more access to open space and outdoor recreation. The county also said if the ordinance passes, it would only apply to rural areas, like the mountains of Boulder Creek​.

The ordinance would not include commercial areas like cities in Felton or Boulder Creek, or cities near the coast. Low-impact camping is a small-scale campground rented out for short-term, overnight recreational camping that would last no more than two weeks.

This may impact businesses or people who live nearby the camping sites.

"We're a tourist economy though, and so this is just another form of tourism." said Santa Cruz County, Public Information Officer, Hoppin.

The proposed plan is asking for a minimum of 5 acre campsites, and some​ commissioners want to reduce that to 3. The county said the ordinance is also requiring supervision at the camp sites.

"One of the things we want the board to consider is a proposal to have a 24/7, access to a site manager, and if the site has no cell service, like much of these areas in the mountains don't have cell service, the site manager actually has to be on site." said Santa Cruz County, Public Information Officer, Hoppin.

The county said if the ordinance passes, people would need to get permits in order to camp in rural areas, and this could provide some revenue streams for rural landowners.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Nataly Gutierrez


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content